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Műhelytanulmányok

2020 januárjától a MT/DP Műhelytanulmányok és a Budapest Working Papers sorozat egybeolvadt, és a továbbiakban KRTK-KTI Műhelytanulmányok cím alatt közli az intézet kutatóinak tudományos munkáját. A KRTK-KTI Műhelytanulmányok célja, hogy hozzászólásokat, vitát generáljanak, nem mentek át szakmai ellenőrzésen.

Szerkesztő: Hajdu Tamás

A megszűnt sorozatok tanulmányai az alábbi linkeken érhetőek el:

MT/DP műhelytanulmányok

BWP műhelytanulmányok

Statistical overstatement of average wages and its impact on pensions: the case of Hungary

GÁBOR OBLATH – ANDRÁS SIMONOVITS

2024/2

In Hungary, initial pensions are indexed to average net wages, reported by official earnings statistics (ES), which does not cover the economy as whole. However, there is alternative statistical source on labour income, the national accounts (NA), intended to cover the total economy. The latter indicate a markedly lower rate of growth in wages than the ES for the period between 2010 and 2020 (4.9 vs. 1.9 percent increase in real gross wages per year). Relying on feasibility tests, we show that the rapid increase reported by the ES cannot, while the milder growth shown by the NA can be reconciled with relevant macroeconomic developments, e.g., changes in productivity and household consumption. We, therefore, claim that the ES overstated the actual increase in wages at the national level during the 2010s, and make our own calculations regarding the path of net wages and implied (hypothetical) initial pensions. The main implications of this exercise are the following: (i) the actual increase in initial benefits (linked to net wages, as reported by the ES) was excessive; (ii) in our estimate, the ratio of average benefits to average net wages did not fall by the extent shown by official statistics (the former is linked to the increase in prices, rather than that of wages). Moreover, (iii) the accumulation of major tensions between cohorts retiring in subsequent years might have been reduced by relying on the more plausible wage statistics reported by the NA, and by taking into account the impact of the dramatically reduced social contribution rate (paid by employers) in calculating initial benefits.

2024

John von Neumann’s game-theoretic legacy

ANDRÁS SIMONOVITS

2024/1

John von Neumann (Budapest, 1903–Washington D.C., 1957) was an exceptional polymath, who made fundamental contributions to mathematical logics, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, game theory, computer architecture and automata theory. In this brief paper, I shall review the game-theoretic results of von Neumann and their legacy in an informal way.

2024

Comparative analysis of the evolution of the CE4 countries’ national innovation systems and their innovation performance in 2000–2020

ATTILA HAVAS

2023/38

This paper compares the evolution of CE4 countries’ (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) national innovation systems, as well as their innovation performance. Its analytical framework draws on evolutionary (and institutional) economics of innovation.

Given the structural features and the level of socio-economic development in the CE4 countries, as well as the dominant way of thinking since the cold war, Western politicians, business people, analysts and journalists tend to share a ‘block’ view of these countries. Further, there is a noticeable – and certainly understandable – ‘drive’ also from the academic community to produce findings that can be generalised across the new EU member states, but at least for the CE4 countries, that is, to focus on identifying shared or similar features. Yet a closer look at the structure of the national innovation systems in these countries, as well as at their innovation performance, points to a different direction. While the structural composition of the research sub-systems of the CE4 countries showed a great diversity already in 2000, fairly significant changes have occurred since then almost in all countries, adding more colours to the observed diversity. Neither a similar structural composition of the research sub-system can be observed, nor a move towards a similar structure. Their innovation performance is also diverse.

Given the diversity among innovation systems, one should be very careful when trying to draw policy lessons from the ‘rank’ of a country as ‘measured’ by a composite indicator. The CE4 countries, therefore, need to avoid the trap of paying too much attention to simplifying ranking exercises. Instead, it is of utmost importance to conduct detailed, thorough comparative analyses, identifying the reasons for a reasonable or disappointing performance.

2024

Futures of the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities in the European Union in 2035: Scenarios and policy implications

ATTILA HAVAS – PHILIPP AMANN – MARCO LETIZI – HOLGER NITSCH – UMUT TURKSEN

2023/37

Policy-makers – working on various domains, notably regulations, home affairs, security, science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies – need to pay close attention to possible new ways and methods for the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities. This paper is aimed at assisting these policy-makers by presenting four possible futures (scenarios) on the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities and considering their implications.

These scenarios assume that the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities – just as most other types of crime – cannot be fully eradicated. There are two competing groups of actors whose capacities, activities, and efficiency largely determine the possibilities for, and repercussions of, the interpenetration of criminal and lawful economic activities: criminal actors and law enforcement agencies (LEAs). The scenarios, therefore, are shaped by two main dimensions: i) whether LEAs are well-resourced, strong, and effective or not, and ii) whether large criminal organisations or small-scale ones are the dominant criminal actors. Hence, the four scenarios consider various types of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors that influence actors to commit – or not – criminal economic activities; the main types of these activities; features of regulations; research, technological development, and innovation activities by the criminal actors vs LEAs; as well as the activities, capabilities, and resources of LEAs.

By considering the nature of the criminal activities that aim at penetrating lawful economic activities, and the options to prevent, monitor, and fight these crimes, the report explores a range of policy implications, especially for STI policies and regulations. Further, it stresses the multi-level nature of policy-making in the EU, as well as the need for collaboration with the willing countries outside the EU. Criminal actors can penetrate lawful economic activities in the EU when commissioned by hostile (‘rogue’) states that aim to weaken and/or undermine the EU and its Member States as part of their geopolitical power games.

2024

Does cutting the value of unemployment insurance benefits affect take-up? Evidence from Hungary

MÁRTON CSILLAG – BALÁZS MUNKÁCSY – ÁGOTA SCHARLE

2023/36

Does a drastic cut in in potential benefit duration affect the take-up of unemployment insurance benefits among those eligible? We evaluate a policy change reducing the maximum length of UI benefits from 9 to 3 months in Hungary at the end of 2011. We rely on rich longitudinal matched administrative data, which allows us to obtain information on a large sample of job losers, and precisely estimate eligibility for UI benefits. We find that slightly less than 60 percent of UI eligible individuals claim benefits, and that while the length of benefit entitlement is only slightly positively correlated with taking up benefits, UI claiming rate tends to increase with previous earnings. We show that the proportion of UI benefit claims fell only slightly (by 1.5 – 2 percentage points), but this effect was more pronounced for those with the largest potential losses in UI value. This moderate effect might be related to the fact that the reform essentially got rid of the period of flat-rate UI benefits, while keeping the period when UI benefits were proportional to previous earnings roughly unchanged.  At the same time, UI take-up decreased among those with low earnings (around the minimum wage) but stable employment, a group with likely little savings, which is alarming from a social policy perspective.

2024